By Brad Gray
Gary Portelli is confident he has done the right thing starting She Will Reign in the Riesling Stakes a fortnight ago, leaving him no doubt that his filly is fit enough to tackle another wet track in the Golden Slipper come Saturday.
“She’s in great order going into the race and now that the weather has come in I’m glad that we raced two weeks ago because she’s got that fitness to fall back on. She has run on a pretty heavy track and had a go at 1200m,” said Portelli at today’s barrier draw.
She Will Reign “pulled up enormous” after the run and it’s all systems go towards the world’s richest two-year-old race where she is currently the $5 second favourite behind Houtzen at $4.40 with TAB.
“I worked her this morning, just giving her an easy gallop over 1000m on the course proper at Warwick Farm. We didn’t ask much of her but she worked with a mate and the last 50m I told Glenn, who rides her in work, to give her a little squeeze to make sure there is something there and she went up into that gear and she went straight past it.”
“When she came back you wouldn’t have known she’d been out to work.”
She Will Reign came up with gate 13, the only barrier which is yet to produce a Golden Slipper winner, but she’ll move into 11 if the emergencies come out which by Portelli’s admission is his "lucky number".
She Will Reign's Riesling second to Frolic
The stable will also be represented by Single Bullet after he won last week's Pago Pago Stakes, with the colt drawing barrier 3.
“We will go back and settle off the pace. By the slipper we’ll have a good idea as to how the track is playing,” said Portelli.
“We were going to ride him off the pace (in the Pago Pago) with Condor Heroes to go forward and take on Ducimus but that tactic wasn’t going to work with the scratching (of Condor Heroes).
“He was a little slow into stride and Tye really rode him along to get outside the leader so he did a good job to dig and fight back to win the race.”
Single Bullet Winning The Pago Pago